Donald Trump's campaign manager says Trump is skipping the next Republican debate.

The Republican candidates are set to square off in the Fox News debate Thursday night, their last debate before Monday's Iowa caucuses.

Trump previously had said he may not show up. But campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said during a Tuesday evening news conference in Marshalltown, Iowa, that the GOP front-runner ``will not be participating in the Fox News debate Thursday.''

Trump has criticized Fox News for ``playing games'' and for including anchor Megyn Kelly as a debate moderator. He says Kelly is a third-rate reporter who is bad at her job and shouldn't be allowed to participate.

in a related story, Ted Cruz is challenging Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate following news that Trump is skipping Thursday's Republican debate.

The Texas senator made the proposition on the radio program, "The Mark Levin Show."

Cruz suggested Trump is afraid of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and questioned what he'd do against Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Associated Press/Metro Networks Inc)